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bmi regional Launches from Birmingham

bmi regional has opened its new base at Birmingham with the launch of flights to Graz, Austria.

Flight BM1401 operated for the first time on February 27.  The service is designed to tap into the strong automotive ties between the two cities, with the schedule built around corporate clients’ requirements.  It will initially operate on Mondays and Fridays, rising to four times weekly in March.

A single Embraer ERJ will be based at Birmingham with additional routes to Gothenburg and Nuremberg launching on May 8.

Jochen Schnadt, Chief Commercial Officer for bmi regional, told Airliner World that the carrier’s research pointed to an untapped market from Birmingham. “They might not necessarily be huge markets but given the size of our aircraft we don’t necessarily need huge markets,” he said.  “That’s where the research very quickly pointed towards Graz.  Nuremberg was hot on its heels in terms of the automotive suppliers based there and Gothenburg has historical ties [to the airline].”

Schnadt said that despite a short lead-in time to the launch, forward bookings had been encouraging.

“With Graz in particular we have very strong engagement with some really key companies. They have also dictated the schedules to a large extent,” he explained.  “Everybody talks about satisfying the customers, and the same of course applies to us, but I think what is unique to us is we go to great lengths designing networks and schedules around customers’ specific needs.  The schedule you see for Graz is a classic example where it is driven by a particular corporate [client].”

One passenger who Airliner World spoke to said the new direct flight will save him a minimum of two hours travelling each week; previously he had to route via either Vienna, Munich or Frankfurt.

Staff from bmi regional and Birmingham Airport celebrate the launch of the carrier’s new base. Key-James Ronayne

William Pearson, Aviation Director of Birmingham Airport said: “All three routes are currently unserved from Birmingham, so we thank bmi regional for filling these gaps and offering leisure travellers the chance to visit these vibrant city break destinations in Sweden, Austria and Germany with an airline that offers excellent service, efficiency and value.”

 

Record-Breaking Birmingham

Birmingham Airport is in a celebratory mood after recording its busiest ever year.  The Midlands facility welcomed 11 million passengers over the 12 months up to August, just a year after passing the ten million milestone.

Commenting on the landmark, Birmingham Airport’s CEO Paul Kehoe said: “Reaching ten million passengers last August was a big milestone in the airport’s history but reaching 11 million is an absolute game changer.  It shows that demand for flying to and from the Midlands is rapidly rising and this is only expected to continue as national and international investment in the region continues and the Midlands Engine powers on.

“We have celebrated a huge number of accomplishments recently, including welcoming an astonishing 13 new airlines to the airport, creating an even stronger network of global routes.  We now have over 440 direct or one-stop flights globally with 50 airlines and proudly handle the magnificent [Airbus] A380 and [Boeing 787] Dreamliner, daily.”

The airport also recorded its busiest single day to date on August 19 when it handled 44,767 passengers, an increase of 14.1% over its previous best on August 13, 2015.